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Shop Talk: House Political Arms Name Regional Directors

The House campaign arms this week announced their political teams for the 2014 cycle.

A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee source noted, “It’s the most diverse political regionals ever at DCCC — these are the people recruiting the candidates and consulting the campaigns,” when giving CQ Roll Call a first look at their roster.

Rebecca Pearcey will serve as the committee’s Northeastern political director. In 2012, she managed John Gregg’s gubernatorial bid in Indiana, and she is a veteran of campaigns for President Barack Obama and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Patrick Brown will be the Midwest regional political director. Last cycle, he managed Rep. Bill Foster’s comeback House campaign in suburban Chicago. Previously, Brown ran a House race in Ohio and he worked on races in Michigan and New Hampshire.

Michelle Mayorga will be the committee’s Western political director. A 16-year campaign veteran, Mayorga most recently ran campaigns in New Mexico and for Planned Parenthood.

Andrew Piatt will be the committee’s Southern political director. Piatt worked on the committee’s independent expenditure arm last cycle. His prior experience includes caucus work in North Carolina and Virginia. In 2010, he managed former Rep. Mark Schauer’s unsuccessful re-election race in Michigan.

Also on Monday, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced its political team for 2014, including:

Annie Kelly will focus on top offensive target states for the NRCC — Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Minnesota, Arizona and Utah — including the committee’s top seven targeted districts. Most recently, she served as campaign manager for Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, in 2012.

Jon Reedy will be the committee’s Northeast regional political director. He served as the NRCC’s Western regional political director during the 2012 cycle.

Joe Pileggi will be the committee’s Great Lakes and Florida regional political director. He comes from Axiom Strategies, a consulting firm. In 2012, Pileggi served as campaign director for Mark Neumann, a GOP Senate candidate in Wisconsin, and he worked on a statewide ballot initiative in Missouri.

David Watts will be the committee’s central Midwest regional political director. He served as Midwest regional political director for the NRCC during the 2012 cycle.

Robert Jones will be the committee’s Western political director. In 2012, he served as the deputy director of the NRCC’s incumbent-retention system, the Patriot program.

George Nassar will be the committee’s Southeast regional political director, the same position he held during the 2012 cycle.

True Bluestein

Jen Bluestein, a former spokeswoman at EMILY’s List, is now a senior adviser with Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control advocacy group headed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, Mark Kelly.

“I’m coming on as Senior Advisor for a while — this is such a critical time and there’s nobody better than Gabby and Mark to get this done,” Bluestein confirmed in an email.

Michigan Democrats United

Democrats in the Michigan delegation have united behind operative Lon Johnson, who is challenging current state party Chairman Mark Brewer in the Feb. 23 leadership elections.

“We believe Lon is the right leader and will bring to the Party vision, energy, and a commitment to collaboration,” the members wrote in an open letter last week.

Johnson is a veteran of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Rep. John D. Dingell’s competitive 2002 campaign against another member. His wife is Obama 2012 Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot.

The delegation makes no mention of Brewer in the letter. Brewer has led the state party since 1995 and was a longtime political operative to former Rep. David E. Bonior, D-Mich.

Link-edIn to Braley’s Race

Jeff Link, a Hawkeye State political operative for Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, since 2005, will continue to serve as a senior adviser for the Democrat’s Senate race. Link worked for Sen. Tom Harkin’s re-election campaigns in 1996 and 2002 and served as his chief of staff.

Mercury Rising

Mercury Public Affairs is opening a new office in Raleigh, N.C., according to the Charlotte News Observer. Russell Peck, GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign manager in 2012, will head the new office. Peck is a former executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Louisville Sluggers

GOP operative Scott Jennings has partnered with Steve Bryant and Gary Gerdemann to form a Louisville, Ky.-based public affairs and public relations firm called RunSwitch PR. Jennings is a former senior adviser to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and is a veteran of a number of recent presidential campaigns.

Moving to the Frontline

JDA Frontline picked up two new GOP hires last week:

Chris Billeter, a former NRCC operative, will be vice president of digital media.

Tommy Schultz will be a director of public affairs. He was part of the Republican National Committee’s New Hampshire campaign for Mitt Romney.

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